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Ever since I've started painting my last pic I've been trying to scrub the Mary-Sue off my brain, without success. At least when it comes to the Naruto fandom, I have this persistent urge to give canon the finger when it comes to Jounin pairings. Because, if people can pair off characters who have never even spoken to each other (Genma/Hayate are a good example) then I can damn well pair them off with OCs who look like me.

If only OCs wouldn't smack of Mary Sue quite so badly... *sigh* But then again, I rarely choose my favourite pairings in any fandom based on their interaction, but rather on how well I think they fit (and sometimes on how delightfully twisted their relationship might be: Sesshoumaru/Kagome are good example of this, as proven by a_hollow_year in her excellent Fugue).

I don't reject canon pairings on principle though -- FMA's Roy/Riza simply break my heart, particularly when written by zauberer_sirin.

Sometimes I think a character is so incompatible with the rest of his/her (known) fictional universe that they need to cross over to some other universe to find a good relationship. This is the case with Buffy, who I think works brilliantly with the characters of Middle-earth, and Faith, too. I can still recall how happy I was when I stumbled over The Gift of Death by hardlyfatal, which is a wonderful Legolas/Buffy pairing but works on many more levels than just the obvious romance one. The friendship between Buffy and Galadriel was particularly poignant.

But in the Buffyverse Faith is the one character that's hardest to pair off, in my opinion. I think the only pairing of her I've read that I've fully accepted is Faith/Glorfindel in hardlyfatal's Blue on Black (now discontinued). Faith/Giles seems to be a common OTP that I don't enjoy at all, and not because of the age difference. I think I'm the only one who doesn't find Giles devastatingly sexy. :P

I'd lie if I said that the age difference doesn't figure into my choice of OTP (I had to google OTP before writing this, by the way). A good example of this is Kakashi, who to me is the most intriguing character in Naruto. The one major het pairing I've seen him in is Kakashi/Sakura. I've read the stories and they are usually very well written, but to me there's always an underlying sense of wrongness because Sakura is so much younger than he is and because I feel that an age difference doesn't just evaporate with time. The more mature of the two will always have the advantage in the relationship and will be able to manipulate the other. Sometimes the roles are reversed and there's a Lolita type of relationship where the girl is so dazzling to the older man that she becomes the manipulator.

I don't particularly like either version. Personally, I also find Sakura a bit too girly (as a person, not as a ninja) and I think Naruto might be a better foil for her than either Kakashi or Sasuke who would both drag her into a codependency rather than a healthy relationship. It's just my opinion though. :D

Sesshoumaru/Rin is just as incompatible in my eyes, independently of Rin's age. Their relationship is so obviously a father/daughter one that every hint of romance between them irritates me to no end.

Then there's the issue of yaoi, slash, shounen-ai...

At the risk of being controversial I think it's safe to say that every gay pairing I've ever read leaves me completely cold.

I've been wondering why that is, since I'm not a homophobe by any stretch of the imagination. I think the reason is that I've danced a lot and have met/befriended a lot of gay men and couples. In my eyes, there's nothing particularly exciting or pure about two men getting it on; it's just as normal as a hetero couple getting it on. Being hetero myself, I can relate to the latter in fiction, and get some emotional response of my own out of the characters' interaction. This eludes me when the couple is gay. I think it's really that simple.

And still, despite the fact that I'm not anti-gay by any stretch of the imagination, bitterness does rear its ugly head whenever an obviously hetero character like Kakashi (or Saiyuki's Gojou) is portrayed as gay. It's simply ridiculous to maintain that a character who screws every woman in sight only does that because he can't have his (male) one true wuv. If that were the case, Gojou would make sure to get it on with every male in sight.

I think the worst offense is when some fangirls maintain that gay love is somewhat sexier and purer and stronger than het love. Uh, can you say bullshit?

So, to conclude this long-ass rant: I'm only interested in het pairings, I don't like pairings with a large age difference, I need the characters to complement each other more than I need them to adhere to canon, and I prefer a canon character/original character pairing (provided it's well done) over a pairing of two canon characters who IMO just don't fit.

And now just for the hell of it here's a list of my OTPs, in no particular order:

Harry Potter:

- Hermione/Blaise as done in Diagon Venus by tamlane. Mmm, Renaissance art.

Star Wars (NJO):

- Jaina/Kyp (Uh, forget what I said about the age difference for a moment, will you. What is their age difference anyway?),
- post-Traitor!Jacen/someone who's worthy of him. And
- Luke/Mara, strangely enough.

Final Fantasy VIII:

- Seifer/Quistis. I just love those two because they are complete opposites of each other. And because I've read some truly brilliant stories featuring them.

Devil May Cry:

- Dante/Trish. Because I don't like Lucia and Dante needs to get laid.

Gundam Wing:

- Treize/Une Damn but that's one twisted, giving love. And two characters who outshine everyone around them. The fact that Treize is an ass adds to the charm. Apart from that it's

- Heero/Relena, because it can be done heartwrenchingly well. And

- Zechs/Noin if Noin manages to get a personality transplant.

Full Metal Panic!:

- Hayashimizu/Ren. Whoever has seen the last episode of FMP-Fumoffu! knows what I'm talking about.

- Of course, there's also Kurz/Melissa. I think those two actually need each other to function.

Full Metal Alchemist:

- Roy/Riza. Reading about them nearly kills me sometimes.


- Sesshoumaru/Kagome. I could write volumes about why I think this is an exceptionally inspired pairing when done well (and utterly atrocious when done badly, which it is more often that not), but instead I'll say one word: Fugue.

- Miroku/Kagome the way San writes them (particularly in Chasing Methuselah and Hard Candy). Hers is also the most compelling Kagome I've ever read, but that's another story altogether. Otherwise Miroku/Kagura because One Less Star convinced me it should be so.


- Tsunade/Jiraiya Those two are forces of nature. I'd love to see them come together stripped of all masks for once. And whenever I think of what they could have had in their youth but passed up because of war and missed chances... I nearly cry.

- Kakashi/? Actually, I have no idea what kind of woman would fit Kakashi. I'm quite sure it could be someone without the special abilities and excellent hair that are the hallmark of a Mary Sue. Intelligent, certainly, but not outstanding like Shikamaru. Pretty, but not strikingly beautiful.

- Genma/Tomoe Despite the fact that Tomoe's an OC, I'm obsessed with this pairing. The inspiration for Tomoe was Evie from The Mummy, a very unique female character in my eyes: intelligent but clumsy, with a sweetness that wasn't cloying at all. Genma as I see him is a playboy but also a very cool and ruthless killer. Although he seems open and even kind, I think he's colder and more guarded than even Kakashi. It's a challenge to pair off someone like that and I don't think I'm the right person to pull it off, but I need my fix. :P

- Neji/Sakura or Naruto/Sakura. I'd love to see a story where they're all grown and Naruto is suddenly the one in control when Sakura realizes what she's been missing. In a way, it would be a bit like Jiraiya/Tsunade if they'd taken a chance on each other when they were younger.

Samurai Champloo:

- Jin/Fuu.

- Mugen/Yatsuha. They're both crazy. They're both sexy. Enough said.

Cowboy Bebop:

- Spike/Faye. Another really heartbreaking pairing.

I'm sure I forgot a lot of fandoms I've been interested in at one time or other, and I definitely read more widely than this, but the post is long enough as it is so I'll stop here.



( 17 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 25th, 2004 10:05 am (UTC)
Scattered thoughts
If Mary Sue she is, you have one hot Mary Sue. I don't think there's a problem with pairing OCs with canon characters, especially ones who don't have a canon pairing - and nothing in Naruto is really canon, except Tsunade/Dan (who's dead, so that's okay too) and ZabuHaku. The thing with Naruto though is that it has such an unending supply of characters, so I've never felt the need to make one up for anything more than an antagonist, but it does have a lack of of-age women.

Tsunade/Jiraiya is so the OTP to end all OTPs. I don't know if I'd consider Kakashi obviously hetero - he doesn't actually seem to have any relationships, just read porn, which knowing Jiraiya is straight porn, but then my default setting for most characters is bisexual, so I easily accept them portrayed either way. Jiraiya is an exception, so while I don't care a bit that everyone loves KakaIru, Jiraiya is so very straight it hurts, and that is why my mind boggles that there is more Jiraiya/Naruto, Jiraiya/Orochimaru, and Jiraiya/Yondaime out there than TsuJira. Wah.

KakaSaku leaves me cold too, because the character dynamics don't click for me and 'cause nearly all of the fics I've read for it make it out to be something that's going to last and grow into love - I have all sorts of unholy, slightly squicked-out love for teacher/student, but I prefer my teacher/student as UST or as not!truewuv for all the reasons you mentioned. Nonetheless I really love "Bell Jars" by sour_water - KakaSaku taken over decades, and bitter and angsty and yet hopeful at the ending [warning: fic also contains shoujo ai - InoSaku. I don't know what your feeling about yuri as opposed to yaoi is, so I thought I'd mention it]

I like Kakashi with Anko. Personally I think he's too distant for a longterm romantic relationship, and my take on Anko is that she's quite screwed up, so it's more a matter of occasional hot sex and ships passing (repeatedly) in the night, on/off and maybe they mourn when the other dies even if they're been off for awhile, but that's the sort of thing that draws me for whatever reason.

Naruto/Sakura! <3 No one seems to be into this pairing. Although I like SasuNaruSaku all taken in a bundle, if they're to be paired up in twosomes, I have to go 'ehhheh no' to (most) SasuNaru and (all) SasuSaku, and <3<3 to NaruSaku. Out of curiosity, what's the appeal of NejiSaku for you? I remember boggling at all of the fic for it on ff.n, because they have no interactions and I can't pinpoint any parellels between them, so I'm wondering. Was it just a really good fic, on level with Fugue or Chasing Methuselah ( - if so, point me there -) or do you see some potential there that I don't? (I know that after NejiHina, NejiNaru, & NejiTen, I really love NejiShika and InoNeji, which most of the fandom doesn't see the appeal of, so I'm not y'know, minding the NejiSaku trend, but I'm just curious)

Also - Jaina/Kyp! I got tired of the newest arc sometime after Traitor, but that one novel where Jaina briefly went to the darkside? That made me so "...damn, I want this pairing, like now." I would've kept reading if only for J/K implications, but it looked like it was heading in a Jag/Jaina direction (which I wouldn't mind in fanfic, if it were in the middle of a fanfic with a plot I was enjoying, which I wasn't with the current canon arc), so I gave up. Do you have any fic recs, though?
Nov. 25th, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC)
Re: Scattered thoughts
If Mary Sue she is, you have one hot Mary Sue.

Thank you! I don't know why, but I'm ridiculously flattered (and encouraged to finish the one-shot that deals with that scene). :P

[...] but it does have a lack of of-age women.

Exactly my point. A few people have pointed out that Kakashi/Anko would make a good pairing and Anko is certainly interesting in her own right. Still, for some reason I don't 'feel' that pairing. I can see a camaraderie between them, even (violent) sex, but nothing even remotely resembling affection.

I suppose that in my eyes Kakashi needs someone who presents a puzzle and is very vulnerable at the same time. He seems to be quite numb, but I believe that he still has the capacity for affection. However, it needs to be triggered by something, and that something is probably his protective instinct since that's the one prevalent emotion he hasn't been able to suppress.

I tried writing a Kakashi/Ayame that deals with torture and loss of self and also that protectiveness, but I'm at an impasse right now. :)

Tsunade/Jiraiya is so the OTP to end all OTPs.

So true! My reasoning for thinking of Kakashi as hetero is based on the fact that he reads het porn so openly (Jiraiya wouldn't write anything else), and that he isn't the type who would do something like that in order to hide his true sexual orientation. :) It might be only wishful thinking though. I admit that my default 'setting' for a character's sexual orientation is hetero unless otherwise mentioned.

KakaSaku taken over decades, and bitter and angsty and yet hopeful at the ending [warning: fic also contains shoujo ai - InoSaku. I don't know what your feeling about yuri as opposed to yaoi is, so I thought I'd mention it]

Sounds interesting! I don't mind yuri -- it leaves me just as cold as yaoi though. :)

Out of curiosity, what's the appeal of NejiSaku for you?

Hmmm. I couldn't tell what exactly, since Neji's actually a lot like Sasuke in some ways. But he has more insight into people and I think he'd come to admire Sakura's type of quiet strength, and also her intelligence. I can see Sakura shaking up the Hyuuga system through mere tenacity (and possibly cunning) too. I imagine that would be quite interesting. *cackles evilly*

Apart from that Sakura might be drawn to Neji simply because he's quite cold. She seems to like the type, and with Neji she might have more of a chance to actually soften him than she ever had with drama queen Sasuke. :P

But I can't recall a fic with the two of them that I particularly liked, nor any really logical reasons why I think they fit.

Also - Jaina/Kyp!

Sadly, I don't have any particular fic recs -- the level of Jaina/Kyp fics out there is mostly that of really trashy romance novels. I dimly recall reading a Jag/Jaina fic on the boards at http://www.theforce.net/ that featured a good Tahiri/Jag pairing, which surprised me. However, the Jag/Jaina in the story was never fully realized, and the story started and ended with them apart.

I'm still looking for good fics with the two of them. If you find any, please drop me a note! :)
Nov. 27th, 2004 11:23 pm (UTC)
Re: Scattered thoughts
Thank you! I don't know why, but I'm ridiculously flattered (and encouraged to finish the one-shot that deals with that scene). :P

You're welcome. And I look forward to you finishing it (and posting! if only in your lj).

What do you think of Kakashi/Kurenai? Unlike Anko, I could see her being vulnerable in a way that would draw out protective feelings from someone, so she might work if put in a vulnerable situation. Though I've never been able to get into that pairing, mainly because Kurenai does nothing for me. Same reason why I like InoAsuma more than AsuKurenai, although my Asuma-love is such that I take whatever pairing I can get him in.

(And aha, I should probably know this, but who's Ayame? ^^;)

http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2079854/1/ - here's the link to Bell Jars.

Anyway, every Jaina/Kyp I've found so far is like you said, trashy romance novel-ish, but if I find anything good, I'll be sure to let you know.
Nov. 25th, 2004 05:07 pm (UTC)
I have a thing for Spike/Faye. And Jet/Faye. Because I'm weird like that. But I'm terrified of jumping on the Jin/Fuu ship because... yeah. The temptation to Mary Sue would be too much for me. On the other hand, would like to see some Genma/Tomoe, because cool.
Nov. 26th, 2004 10:11 pm (UTC)
Oh yeah. Also, *SCHNUGS!*
Nov. 28th, 2004 02:25 pm (UTC)

I'd love to read a Jin/Fuu of yours! I don't think you can do Mary Sues.

I'm currently trying to write a Genma/Tomoe oneshot, but my writing skills are sadly lacking. It's lack of practice, I suppose. Maybe I'll post a snippet for skewering later on. :P
Nov. 25th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC)
You're so lovely! I'm thrilled that my little stories have affected you so much :) My favourite friendship in TGoD, incidentally was Buffy+Aragorn-- I thought they were a super set of pals together, far more than any of the romantic pairings.

And I'm hugely flattered that I made the case for Mir/Kagu for you :)

[hugs and hugs]
Nov. 28th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
I don't know why, but Galadriel/Buffy touched me the most.

Miroku/Kagura is simply compelling, but I admit that Miroku/Kagome touches me a little more. Miroku is always dead sexy, but I like flawed female characters the most. Kagura, in her way, is quite perfect. :)
Nov. 28th, 2004 07:51 pm (UTC)
Really? I find Kagura quite flawed. Her tale is a classic tale of a child trying to escape a dysfunctional parent, a parent who quite literally uses her heart to manipulate her. There are plenty of parents who coerce their kids by means of guilt, abandonment, withholdling of love, etc.

Kagura loathes the one who created her, her father if you will, to the point of actively trying to do whatever she can to subvert and sabotage his plans. She seems to take no delight in the butchery more demons love-- for her, the thrill is in strategy and battle, not necessarily the violence and death. I've always gotten the feeling she'd kick ass at chess.

Time and again, she's shown a peculiar sort of compassion, if you will-- remember her telling Goshinki to leave those last two kids when he destroys that village? She doesn't seem to take any pleasure in the destruction that most demons would enjoy just for its own sake. And that's pretty abnormal for a demon, quite a significant flaw IMO.

Then there's the issue of her complicated feelings for Sesshoumaru. Argument has been made for her being in love with him, an argument I think has certain validity. But if this is true, she handles it with none of the boldness most youkai exhibit-- she keeps it as near a secret as possible, almost shyly. This, too, is atypical for a demon, a flaw.

Well, that's it. My little essay about Kagura. Heh.
Nov. 25th, 2004 07:24 pm (UTC)
Dante/Trish! YES! I really didn't like Lucia and wanted Trish back. Grrr.

And I would love to read a NejiSaku, because the SasuSaku ship is too angsty now-a-days and it makes me sad. And NaruSaku could be so teeth-breakingly sweet!

And I'm falling asleep so I stop rambling now.
Nov. 28th, 2004 02:36 pm (UTC)
I think I've read all of three Dante/Trish stories, and none of them was a proper love story. *sniff*

The more I think about Naru/Saku, the more I fall in love with the idea because it would be a grown-up Naruto, with a whole lot more confidence than his twelve-year old self. He wouldn't let Sakura trample all over him like she does now. *dreamy sigh*

Nov. 29th, 2004 04:57 am (UTC)
I've never read one, but I like the idea.

Sakura's stopped trampling over him, you noticed that? I HAVE! *wide grin* And he would never mistreat her or break her heart *glares at a certain young Uchiha*
Dec. 3rd, 2004 04:08 am (UTC)
Indeed! NaruSaku all the way. :D
Dec. 8th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
Nov. 26th, 2004 12:15 am (UTC)
I really can't see Kakashi with anyone else than the still unnamed ANBU Lady. That scene where they met at the memorial stone - that's the closest Kakashi has ever come to opening up about his past.

Kakashi/Ayame is cute too.
Nov. 28th, 2004 02:39 pm (UTC)
I see the ANBU lady with Iruka, strangely enough. He deserves a sexy girlfriend. :P

Sadly, Kakashi/Ayame the way I see it is very, very twisted.
Nov. 30th, 2004 09:54 am (UTC)
Ehh... Kakashi should go with... uh, someone. But your ideal female for Kakashi is good, I think that'll fit perfectly. ... What about Tomoe? Ohhh, make Genma and Him fight over her. J/k. >__>; KakaSaku doesn't irk me so, but I don't exactly approve of it. Although I do love NaruSaku~

One Less Star also convinced me that Miroku and Kagura belong together. Because the smex was hot. *cough, cough*

Wait. Hermione/Blaise? Wow. :0 I'm so gonna go read that fic.
( 17 comments — Leave a comment )